Executive Board approves Tentative Agreement on Contract. EDU members vote NO.

    Executive Board Notes for 8.1.12

From 3 – 6:20 we reviewed the Tentative Agreement that the Bargaining Team made with the district. It was not announced that we were entering closed session. There were about 30 people there – mostly EBoard and some former EBoard members who are members of the bargaining team. I will try to summarize the major changes to the contract though I cannot go through all of them here – there are many. A copy should be mailed to you from the UESF office soon.

The agreement is for 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.

Furloughs – 1.5 furloughs for 2012-2013. 1.5 furloughs for 2012-2014. The last day of school will be half day furlough. June 3 will be scheduled as the third PD day and will be suspended so it counts as a furlough day.
+ : 2.5 furlough days restored, these furloughs will not impact student time in classroom
: 1.5 furlough days! Pay cuts that go along with it and the contingencies listed below.

Class size – K-3 class size is 22. All other class size language in 9.3.1 is eliminated. It is replaced with language that says class sizes will conform to state law.

An entire section was added that allows for individual classes to go “one over” the limit. Teachers who accept a “one over” class will get $1,000/year to spend on PD and materials and 2 release days/semester for planning.

+ : none
: Class sizes may increase. If this has specific impact on high school please let me know. I know district limits for 4th 5th grade and state limits have been pretty much the same. The state limits are so vague and confusing as far as I’ve even been able to understand. Basically we lost any district based protections around class size in. The goals section of the contract remains, but read that section – for example, 4th grade, goal 30 students. Terrible.

The “one-over” provisions are a clear opening for principals to play favorites, pit teachers against each other and potentially divide educators. We all get $0 for materials and 0 release days but by violating class size limits you can have extra resources that should be available to everyone.

SPED – Again, check the TA when you get it in the mail but I believe the entire staffing allocation table was eliminated from our contract and replaced with language about “state law.” The SPED class size GOALS section of the contract has been changed to match with current certifications. It has changed to list two kinds of special day classes and two class limits: mild/moderate at 8-12 and moderate/severe at 6-10. This means self contained ED classes (Do these still exist? I don’t think they do at Middle School) could rise as they were previously limited at 6-8. And these are just goals anyway.

Language changes in so that RSPs can be asked to teach classes, small ELD groups, co-teach in gen ed inclusion model if “mutually agreed upon.”

I believe that the RSP staffing allocation was eliminated though language about “goals” is still there. Check your copy for confirmation of this when it arrives.

+ : none
– : If my understanding of this is correct the district basically got what they wanted in terms of incredible “flexibility” in class size. The staffing allocation table was eliminated and the goals language remains meaning we are at the whim of state law – i.e. we don’t have a basis to file a contract grievance around class size except for at K-3.

EED (formally CDP) – Changes to PRE-K EED program (not school aged program) – Reduction in work year from 218 to 191 days. ALL workdays changed to 7.5 hrs (plus lunch = 8 to 8.5 hours on site). No more part time positions in pre-K EED.

+ : none – some members will go from part time work to full time work but at the loss of others’ jobs
-: We were told about 200 people would be “affected.” Loss of salary would be $3-4,000 for each member. The people who will get hit the hardest are those in the 16 pilot program sites. Those folks all work 8 hours already and so all they will have the option of is a drastic salary cut or go look for a new job. Part timers will be offered full time work; others will then be laid off. The district says they will have a summer program for pre-K but won’t say what it will be.

Department Heads: Despite SFUSD’s unilateral attempt to violate our contact last year and eliminate department heads, the Bargaining Team maintained this section of our contract. This is good.

AP Preps: . The Tentative Agreement changes AP preps. Teachers with classes with 25 or more students will still get an additional prep for their AP class. If the class has fewer than 25 students, the teacher will not receive a prep but a stipend instead based on the number of tests that will be given.

+: Given that SFUSD wanted to eliminate AP preps all together it was good that we were able to protect some of them.
-: This change represents a savings of $1.8 million for SFUSD. It is a foot in the door for further erosion of the AP preps in future negotiations. Using stipends to pay for AP classes taught is a concession. Stipends don’t help teachers have the time they need to prepare adequate induction for AP courses.

Contingency – Built into the TA is language that if Prop 30 doesn’t pass class size will be immediately reopened. More furloughs will be implemented – 1 additional furlough day for each $1.79 million the district says it lost. We will have up to 6.5 furloughs this year and up to 10 furloughs next year. This contingency means that even if this contract is approved, it will not be finally settled by us but by voters in the November election.

There are other things to report about electronic paychecks, AP prep, Department Heads but the changes above are the most critical and far reaching in my estimation.

At 6:20 we finished going through the agreement. We were told we needed to be out by 6:30 and Dennis said he wanted this ratification process wrapped up by August 20th. He asked for a motion to recommend the TA. Nina and I both pleaded to slow down, that deciding this with 10 minutes left in the meeting room was ridiculous. We hadn’t even had full discussion. There were some comments during the process of going through the documents and EDU members raised a number of concerns. One other PLC member raised some serious concerns, but the comments had mostly been of a clarifying question nature. It was obvious people in the room had questions and that there had been no due diligence in terms of deliberating and seriously considering our task as representatives of 6,000 members. Nonetheless no one else picked up these calls for slowing down, we had a quorum and the TA passed 14-7 (7 EDU members voting against).

No hard argument was made from the Bargaining Team about this agreement and why we needed to accept it. It was just presented as a done deal. There were arguments during the review of the document that the district didn’t really have as much money as we thought they did and that fact finding would go badly for us if we entered it. There will be membership meetings on August 14 and August 15, but no way will they be a second strike vote. In fact, since Dennis said the process should be done by August 20, I expect that the ballots will be mailed to people’s homes with a summary of the changes prior to the meetings and that ballots will be due on August 17. That’s my guess.

In the last 5 minutes we approved some expenditures and voted to support a parcel tax for CCSF – again with absolutely no discussion whatsoever. Calls for discussion were answered with “everyone will support this.”

My opinion: It was a dreary scene but this TA so obviously deserves a NO vote. On process alone this is atrocious and we shouldn’t be supporting an agreement that even the elected leadership didn’t have time to actually consider. But beyond the process questions, we were shown there was enough money to give back all of our furlough days. No one in the system of public education can afford to watch class sizes increase. Our members asked for a second strike vote. We should have honored that request. Chicago teachers have won gains by continuing to organize and didn’t stop when the district blinked. They are continuing to push forward. We should urge our members to vote no on this TA. We should get it out to everyone we can in the next couple weeks. Flier as many sites as we can, blast the Internet, go to the 14th and 15th.